Don't You Love Seeing The Competition's Cakes

Business By costumeczar Updated 9 Nov 2009 , 3:19am by rosiecast

costumeczar Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 6:47pm
post #1 of 22

I did a couple of weddings this weekend where there were other functions going on in different areas of the venues, so I got to scope out some of the competitions' cakes.

One was okay, but the height of the tiers was really short. Sometimes I worry that my tiers aren't tall enough, but these were REALLY small. Looked like they were baked in 3" pans and not even filled, or something. I don't know if that's their norm or not, but if it is, it was interesting.

The other one looked like the icing hadn't even been smoothed out at all, and maybe someone with one decorating class under their belt had done it. It was BAAAAAAD...

Oh, it made me feel so superior! icon_rolleyes.gif

21 replies
LaBellaFlor Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 7:20pm
post #2 of 22

Nope, cause I feel bad that someone actually sold that cake and that someone actually paid for it...though it does make me feel better about myself too.

auntginn Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 7:50pm
post #3 of 22

Yes, I love to see their work, go to their bakeries and also get to know them. It comes from my training, in order to understand what we offer that is different, we need to know what the others around us are offering.

I have also made friends with the competition and in times of pinch or problems we can help each other out.

I always strive to be the first to have something new or make something different anyway.

Ruth0209 Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 8:25pm
post #4 of 22

I like seeing the competition, too. It confirms what I'm charging, what style I'm doing, etc., AND it does build my confidence because some of them do really sloppy work, and I take a lot of pride in how neat my cakes are. It does make me feel sad that people pay as much as they do for some really badly executed cakes, though.

LaBellaFlor Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 8:33pm
post #5 of 22

I'm pretty familiar with the "main" competition. I know there are a lot more out there then I am aware of, but the competition I trust and like, I would help out. I also reccomend them, cause I can trust not only their decorating skill, but their baking skills as well. It's hard to find a good decorator & tasty baker. icon_smile.gif

costumeczar Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 9:27pm
post #6 of 22

I only refer out to people I trust not to decorate a cake like a monkey. Since the flavor of the cake is something that the bride needs to like, I leave that up to them to do a tasting on their own. I figure if I know someone is consistently going to decorate a cake well, the couple can decide on whether they like how it tastes, and the whole thing will be covered inside and out that way.

There are a few people around here who have pictures of cakes in their portfolios that I've seen, who then produce cakes that look nothing like them. Those are the ones I don't refer out to. It's just good to see actual cakes as they're delivered, since that will either confirm or negate my opinion of the bakeries!

costumeczar Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 9:28pm
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

Nope, cause I feel bad that someone actually sold that cake and that someone actually paid for it...though it does make me feel better about myself too.




Yeah, you do have to feel bad for the bride who gets the sloppy cake on her wedding day.

__Jamie__ Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 9:49pm
post #8 of 22

Oh man, I royally screwed up a cake this weekend. It was beautiful, but I messed up the flavor combo. First time ever. Plus, I mixed leftover MFF with Satin Ice, cause the chick said she didn't want fondant but her design had to have it. Ok, well, I'm not mixing up a batch of MFF for someone who doesn't even want it. Never thought about the other people who would probably eat it. Doh!! I hate myself this morning, guys! If my competition heard about that, (((shudder at the thought)). I have never heard anything good about the other folks, and I am so careful to make sure everything (hopefully) is positive about my stuff. I am fully compensating her, offering a free small cake for her hubby and her (in the correct flavor) and hope she doesn't go on a review site rant. And will never ever make such a stupid mistake again. I've never screwed up an order before. Ugh!!

Mencked Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 9:55pm
post #9 of 22

I went to a wedding last night where I got to check out the competition. I wasn't allowed (by the wedding planner) to be considered for the job since I wasn't well known enough. (I'm a friend of the groom's side of the family). Reportedly, the cake at this wedding was done by someone who has been on food network a couple of times. At any rate, and I'm not bragging here, just stating facts, I was kind of pleased to see that I could have easily done both the wedding and groom's cake just as well or better icon_smile.gif!

LaBellaFlor Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 10:08pm
post #10 of 22

Like you said,"Quality is remembered long after price is forgotten", but around here it seems the price gets the business, not the quality.

costumeczar Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 10:33pm
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Oh man, I royally screwed up a cake this weekend.




Don't worry about it too much, it sounds like you're heading off the problem before she'll go slam you on a review site. Being proactive and admitting that you made a mistake never hurts!

yumcake06 Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 10:49pm
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mencked

I went to a wedding last night where I got to check out the competition. I wasn't allowed (by the wedding planner) to be considered for the job since I wasn't well known enough. (I'm a friend of the groom's side of the family). Reportedly, the cake at this wedding was done by someone who has been on food network a couple of times. At any rate, and I'm not bragging here, just stating facts, I was kind of pleased to see that I could have easily done both the wedding and groom's cake just as well or better icon_smile.gif!




oh my gosh are you talk about Ruth from Ruth's Sweet Justice? Well I would not judge her cakes so harshly just cause Ruth is talented and not ALL her bakers can decorate like her it must be hard for her to keep quality control on everything that goes out the door.

Just in case you are talking about Ruth...

LaBellaFlor Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 10:52pm
post #13 of 22

Let's not use names. It just makes things nicer. If you gotta question, PM the person.

Kitagrl Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 10:55pm
post #14 of 22

Sometimes I look at wedding cakes and say to myself "Hey now, if they'd have hired me, that cake would have looked better (or just as good) and I'd have gotten the money for it!" haha.

costumeczar Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 11:10pm
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by yumcake06

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mencked

I went to a wedding last night where I got to check out the competition. I wasn't allowed (by the wedding planner) to be considered for the job since I wasn't well known enough. (I'm a friend of the groom's side of the family). Reportedly, the cake at this wedding was done by someone who has been on food network a couple of times. At any rate, and I'm not bragging here, just stating facts, I was kind of pleased to see that I could have easily done both the wedding and groom's cake just as well or better icon_smile.gif!



oh my gosh are you talk about Ruth from Ruth's Sweet Justice? Well I would not judge her cakes so harshly just cause Ruth is talented and not ALL her bakers can decorate like her it must be hard for her to keep quality control on everything that goes out the door.

Just in case you are talking about Ruth...




How could you possibly guess from the location of "Oklahoma" that she's talking about one specific person? Relax...

Kitagrl Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 11:13pm
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mencked

I went to a wedding last night where I got to check out the competition. I wasn't allowed (by the wedding planner) to be considered for the job since I wasn't well known enough. (I'm a friend of the groom's side of the family). Reportedly, the cake at this wedding was done by someone who has been on food network a couple of times. At any rate, and I'm not bragging here, just stating facts, I was kind of pleased to see that I could have easily done both the wedding and groom's cake just as well or better icon_smile.gif!




I have no clue who you are talking about (and don't need to) but I do find that its hard to get your foot in the door doing weddings until you get more well known in the area. There's a TON of competition around here...I'm working on it though! haha.

indydebi Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 11:30pm
post #17 of 22

I am surrounded by some very talented cake decorators, so yes, I do like seeing their cakes because it keeps me on my toes! thumbs_up.gif

However .......

A photog friend of mine paid a good amount of money for a booklet/flyer. This thing is high quality paper, about a 7x10 size, with pages of his photos. The first time he gave me one, I looked at the back cover and said, "oh my god, why did you put such a crappy cake on this thing!" He picked the photo for the special effect on the bride and groom in the background, but the cake, which is half of the pic!, has unsmoothed icing, a fondant ribbon with buttercream STARS dabbed on the ribbon. STARS for god's sake! I rag him about it everytime I see him, offering him a copy of one of MY cake pics for his next publication. icon_lol.gif

jenmat Posted 8 Nov 2009 , 11:58pm
post #18 of 22

i sometimes get a little depressed seeing those other cakes because it confirms I need to up my prices ABOVE those places, not at their level. Some of those places get paid on reputation, I get that, but what passes for good work around here just makes me sick.
There is no excuse for sloppy work if you're getting paid.

cas17 Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 12:59am
post #19 of 22

i'm new in the biz and my area and i would love to know who the competition is out my way! i wonder how i can discretely check them out? especially their pricing.

Ruth0209 Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 1:06am
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by cas17

i'm new in the biz and my area and i would love to know who the competition is out my way! i wonder how i can discretely check them out? especially their pricing.




Look at their web sites. Most places have pictures, flavors, and prices. I also don't think there's anything wrong with "shopping" the competition. Just call and ask them how much they charge per servings for a buttercream wedding cake and a fondant covered cake. They'll tell you. Then just politely thank them and tell them you call them back if you want to make an order. Companies in all kinds of industries do this. It's part of how you figure out your own pricing and marketing strategies.

Mencked Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 2:27am
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by yumcake06

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mencked

I went to a wedding last night where I got to check out the competition. I wasn't allowed (by the wedding planner) to be considered for the job since I wasn't well known enough. (I'm a friend of the groom's side of the family). Reportedly, the cake at this wedding was done by someone who has been on food network a couple of times. At any rate, and I'm not bragging here, just stating facts, I was kind of pleased to see that I could have easily done both the wedding and groom's cake just as well or better icon_smile.gif!



oh my gosh are you talk about Ruth from Ruth's Sweet Justice? Well I would not judge her cakes so harshly just cause Ruth is talented and not ALL her bakers can decorate like her it must be hard for her to keep quality control on everything that goes out the door.

Just in case you are talking about Ruth...




Now that kind of cracked me up....I didn't think I was judging the competition harshly by saying that I could have done just as well or better...... icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif The cake was gorgeous and delicious (kind of like the ones I make) icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif and I have no idea who the "food network" decorator was. I was kind of thinking along Kitagirl's comments
"Sometimes I look at wedding cakes and say to myself "Hey now, if they'd have hired me, that cake would have looked better (or just as good) and I'd have gotten the money for it!" haha."

rosiecast Posted 9 Nov 2009 , 3:19am
post #22 of 22

Diane, I read your post and it did not sound as if you were judging either. BTW: Your cakes are beautiful! The deer one creeps me out a little lol, but is still a work of art.

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